London , the capital city of the UK , has some excellent museums and admission to many of them is free of charge.
Here are details of just three of the museums that you can visit during a trip to London :
The British Museum
The British Museum ( Great Russell Street , London , WC1B 3DG) is one of the most popular museums in London and, having been in operation for more than 250 years, is also one of the oldest.
Its collections include more than seven million exhibits and feature artefacts from throughout the world. You can see items from Anglo-Saxon England, Imperial China, the Byzantine Empire , Native North America, Roman Britain and Babylonia , as well as Mayan artefacts, Aztec exhibits and items from the 18th , 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the best-known rooms in the British Museum is the Ancient Egyptian Room, where you can view mummies, jewellery and statues.
The British Museum has several cafes, a restaurant and a picnic area, and there are also several museum shops. It is open daily and admission is free, although you may have to pay to see special exhibitions.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum ( Cromwell Road , London , SW7 5BD ) first opened in 1881, although it wasn’t officially a museum until 1963. It now has more than 70 million specimens and many of its exhibits are interactive, so it’s a great place to take the kids.
Highlights include a life-sized model of a blue whale, which is suspended from the ceiling of the Mammals Gallery, and “The Power Within” gallery, where you can learn about the causes and effects of volcanoes and earthquakes. You can also learn about insects, primates, fossils and minerals, as well as seeing a diplodocus skeleton and a 1,300 year old giant sequoia.
The Natural History Museum is also housed in a beautiful, historic building, which is currently being expanded to include a new, state-of-the-art, Darwin Centre.
The museum is open daily (although it is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and admission is free of charge.
The Science Museum
The Science Museum (Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD) has more than 25 galleries, displaying more than 300,000 objects, and has some excellent interactive exhibits. It attracts more than 2.5 million visitors each year.
Highlights of the Science Museum include: the “Exploring Space” Gallery, where you can learn about the history of space travel and see two real rockets; “Launchpad”, a gallery aimed at 8 – 14 year olds, which features more than 50 interactive exhibits, including a light table and a thermal imaging camera; and the “Making the Modern World” gallery, where you can see 150 objects, including Babbage’s Difference Engine No.1 and Stephenson’s original “Rocket”.
There is also an IMAX 3D cinema, a café, a restaurant and a shop. The museum is open daily (although it is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and admission is free of charge.